Watch Russia’s 5th Gen. stealth fighter perform stunning aerobatics, including “Cobra” and flat spin

The Russian Sukhoi T-50 is going to be a tough adversary for both the F-22 and F-35.

A video published by the TV channel Zvezda shows a Sukhoi PAK FA prototype performing some stunning aerobatics that prove the excellent maneuverability of Russia’s next generation radar-evading fighter jet.

According to the Russians, in terms of maneuvering capabilities, the new aircraft will have no rivals both among its Russian-made predecessors and among the foreign combat planes.

The aircraft is a stealth equipped with a front, side and rear AESA radar, as well as L Band radars. It features TVC (Thrust Vectoring Control), a top speed exceeding Mach 2 and a supermaneuverability that makes the T-50 able to perform, among the others, even the famous Cobra maneuver.

It should carry a wide variety of weapons including air-to-air, air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles.

Although future air-to-air scenarios will probably not involve WVR (Within Visual Range) engagements, where supermaneuverability would give it an edge over most if not all its competitors, and provided it will solve all its problems and will be produced in significant numbers, the T-50 will become a tough adversary for the F-22 and F-35.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The 12 procured will probably be the only 12 ever procured. And to be clear, it was felled because of technical problems – see what the Indians said – that couldn’t be bridged without significantly more money, money that Russia can’t afford and India was unwilling to pay.

    The danger for Russia is this. If it decides to build PAK FA in the late 2020s (or a “PAK
    FA 2.0”), it will be essentially, an F-22 raptor rival that will co up against the F-X, which is the US’s planned F-22 successor program that will first fly in the late 2020s. The danger of PAK FA
    cancellation isn’t what it means now, but rather fifteen years out, as it puts Russia permanently a further generation behind the development curve. They can’t realistically expect to skip from 4th Generation to 6th, when their 5th Generation PAK FA was such a boondoggle.

  2. Welcome to the stealth club, Russia. Too bad it took you 22 years to play catch-up, and your plane sucks, and you can only afford 5 of them.

  3. “Although future air-to-air scenarios will probably not involve WVR (Within Visual Range) engagements”

    David, this statement is very interesting, mostly when talking about opposed stealth aircraft. I’d like you to further elaborate.
    Provided both of them respect their paper stealth specifications, they would be “stealth” to each other, right? So I would assume that when a F-22 meets a T-50 their fight goes WVR if not even down to gun combat. I even remember some claims with aggressor US pilots seeing a F-22 with their own eyes, but having difficulties to lock it on with the aiming systems on their jets, both radar and IR based.

    Else… what’s the whole point in stealth technology?

    All of this, giving for granted that it is very unlikely that they will ever fire upon each other…

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